Formula One (F1) is the highest class of open wheel racing sanctioned by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). In fact, F1 cars are so powerful that all drivers, officials, pit crews and organisers must hold a ‘super license’, which is the highest class of racing licence issued by the FIA.
The F1 season is broken up into individual races known as Grand Prix (which means ‘Big Prize’ in English), which are held on purpose built racing circuits or on public roads. The F1 circuit is made up of a number of constructor teams. Some of these teams represent car manufacturers themselves (like Ferrari and McLaren), whereas others are privateers who use the engines of another car manufacturer under a team banner (like Red Bull Racing).
The first formula one race was held in 1950, and since then the sport has grown into a global phenomenon. Last year 527 million people watched Formula One racers fly around the track at speeds in excess of 300 kmh.
The unprecedented king of F1 is German Michael Schumacher. Schumacher has won the most Grand Prix (91) and also the most drivers championships (7). From 2000-2004 he won the drivers title an incredible five straight times.